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Burpee Challenge Anyone?

Burpee Pain

Hitting The Burpee Wall

Today’s Sydney Morning Herald’s Executive Style section has thrown down a Burpee Challenge!

Those of us who have been CrossFitting for some time would be very familiar with the burpee. Personally burpees and I have never been the best of friends and I remember the first time I attempted them in the Filthy Fifty. Everything was going swimmingly and I was on track to compete the WOD in less than 30 minutes. That was until I came across the 50 burpees and all hell broke loose. The first ten reps were manageable although everything after that came grinding to a halt. I was so fatigued I slowed to a single, miserable burpee a minute. Long story short, I finished that WOD closer to the 50-minute mark than the 30.

Several years on my fitness and burpees have dramatically improved though every time I see them in a WOD I still cringe. So when I read the papers challenge part of me laughed and another part of me cried as I remembered how difficult I once found them.

The Sydney Morning Herald challenge is as follows:

Start on one side of the room, and perform 20 burpees straight with no rest – that’s 20 burpees with fluidity and constant motion. Finished? Take 10 leisurely paces away from the corner, then turn around and take 10 paces back. This is your rest period – please cherish it. Then perform 19 burpees. Repeat the restful walk, then perform 18 burpees, and so on.

Although the Herald’s Burpee Challenge may be hard, earlier this year I found similar a burpee workout that may be little more difficult. I stumbled upon the workout while on Beyond The White Board searching for a WOD that incorporated burpees. I have since used the workout when I have no equipment and need a quick no frills WOD. Lindsey Smith created it and I can tell you first hand this 20 minute burner is as painful as she is strong. I’ve used it around a dozen times this year and have often asked friends who have laughed at the idea of a five or ten minute workout to join in. It’s interesting to see how fast people who only minutes earlier mocked my idea of a quick 20 minute workout soon begin to profess their conversion after the 9 or 10-minute mark. It’s a tough workout and even some of my fitter friends have dropped out around the 16th or 17th minute. Lindsey’s WOD, aptly named Burpee Madness is as follows:

Minute one: 10 Burpees
Minute two: 20 Burpees
Minute three: 5 Burpees
Minute four: 11 Burpees
Minute five: 2 Burpees
Minute six: 18 Burpees
Minute seven: 6 Burpees
Minute eight: 15 Burpees
Minute nine: 4 Burpees
Minute ten: 8 Burpees
Minute eleven: 17 Burpees
Minute twelve: 3 Burpees
Minute thirteen: 13 Burpees
Minute fourteen: 9 Burpees
Minute fifteen: 12 Burpees
Minute sixteen: 14 Burpees
Minute seventeen: 16 Burpees
Minute eighteen: 7 Burpees
Minute nineteen: 19 Burpees
Minute twenty: 1 Burpee

If for any reason that you don’t hit the specified # of burpees in the minute you must finish the remaining burpees on the next minute but you can not move on to the next set of burpees, you must wait until the next minute.

In the end I think either of these workouts will be challenging. So if your short on equipment, stuck in a hotel room, or simply have a spare 20 minutes to test the difficulty of either, go for it. I’m sure you will see very fast why one is a “Challenge” and the other is just pure “Madness.”

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